The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Of the 100-plus comments (edit - now 150-plus) that we have had on the Annoying Facts threads, one, signed Homemade, stands out:-
It never ceases to amaze me how many (mostly angry) posts you get about speed cameras but so few (relatively) on fundamental changes to our judicial system and the erosion of checks and balances in the UK.

I think that you are on to something here, Homemade. You could abolish Habeas Corpus and trial by jury with less fuss than the Mr. Toad lobby makes over the fact that new technology has made it much easier to enforce speed limits than hitherto.

The sophistry deployed by the pro-speed lobby never ceases to amaze me. I have to grant them one thing though - they have successfully managed to put across the untruth that cameras are there to raise revenue, such that a majority of people believe it to be true.

Trawling through the pro-speed websites you come across the most outrageous defiance of logic and common sense, and convoluted arguments that would not have disgraced a fourteenth-century theologian. The other day some oaf was claiming that children are being run over because drivers are too busy watching their speedometers to watch out for pedestrians. There is a word for that, and the word is "bollocks".

Here's a couple of bonus Annoying Facts for the speed lobby:-

1) Cars are easier to control at lower speeds than they are at higher speeds, and the drivers have more time to react.

2) It requires little in the way of intelligence or skill to drive a car, and the traffic laws must be set to the lowest common denominator. Those of us blessed with razor-sharp reactions and finely honed skills, driving our high performance cars, will have to drive slower than we would like because some people out there really aren't very good drivers.